Hello from Penguin…
February last year (2015) I went through my inbox like I do every morning.
One email in particular jumped out at me – the subject was simply “Hello from Penguin”.
Claire Pelly was emailing me to say she was editor at Penguin Random House and had just moved home to Ireland from Penguin UK. I was actually familiar with Claire’s name, as she had published books for Giovanna Fletcher and Sylvia Day. I had remembered Giovanna talking about Claire at the start of her book journey.
Claire asked could we meet to discuss the possibility of any publishing opportunities there may be for me.
I rang my husband straight away and told him about the email. I couldn’t actually believe such a distinguished and recognised company had approached me. Although nothing had happened yet I couldn’t contain myself with excitement! My husband said what my Mum would have said, “Well I’m not surprised at all”, which made me smile and think of her.
I had often dreamt of writing a book – but always thought it would be something I would do way down the line. I certainly didn’t think I’d be approached by one of the most well know publishing houses out there.
Claire and I met the following week for a coffee.
We had a lovely chat and got on really well. As I sat there listening to Claire telling me she had been following me from the UK and that she thought I’d have a lot to offer in terms of writing a book, I just started to cry!
Looking back now that was pretty embarrassing but it was one of those surreal moments that just caught me off guard. It was only a few months after my Mum had passed away so I suppose my emotions were very heightened anyhow.
Some months later I contacted Claire again and apologised for not being back in touch sooner with my ideas. To be honest I wasn’t in the right frame of mind when we met in February to sit down and write a book. Thankfully she understood and offered me a meeting with her MD the following week.
Off I went to Penguin’s office feeling very excited but very nervous. There I met with Michael and Patricia who couldn’t have been nicer. They listened to my ideas – I had a very clear picture of the look, style and feel and thankfully they got exactly what I had envisioned. I left the meeting feeling like it went well but spent the next couple of days hoping they liked me enough to actually offer me a deal!
Some weeks after that I was contacted with the news I’d been waiting for… An actual book deal! Signing the contract was a pinch myself moment for sure. Still to this day I can’t believe it’s happening.
I’m sure it’ll sink in when I’m holding it in my hands.
So for the past few months I’ve been typing and typing and typing some more!! I had two weeks of shoots for the book in December.
Since Christmas, it’s been the most intense as my deadline came closer. It’s nearly all in the bag now apart from a few things I need to add. So at the moment it’s back and forth with edits and in the hands of the designers. The cover is being decided at the moment too, which is very exciting.
I’ve been dying to share the news so it’s lovely to finally fill you in.
Without giving too much away it’s a Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle book full of tips, tricks, inspiration, interiors and of course, a focus on fashion and beauty. I strongly wanted a book for everyone – if you’re aged 16 or 60, you’ll hopefully take something from it.
The book will be released around October. Obviously I’ll let you know when I have more details on dates. 😉
It’s been so enjoyable – and difficult! I’d be lying if I said it was easy. I’ll keep my Thank Yous for the book but if it wasn’t for certain people encouraging and helping me – not just with the book but with keeping everything else going, I wouldn’t have been able to dedicate the time to do it.
Maybe I’m feeling soppy because it’s Valentine’s Day but I’m so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life and so grateful for these wonderful opportunities coming my way.